Truck Accidents Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Transportation and logistics are one of America’s most relied upon industries. Millions of semi-trucks and commercial vehicles occupy U.S. roadways each and every day. Because of the massive volume of products to deliver and the high pressure to meet delivery deadlines, truck drivers are often on the road for long hours. Despite laws and expectations that require drivers to rest, many truck drivers often push themselves to continue to drive beyond driving-time limits with little or no sleep. This can cause a truck driver to fall asleep at the wheel and have an accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of an accident involving a truck, you are most likely in pain and wondering about your next steps.
At Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I provide dedicated legal guidance and strong representation for clients in their truck accident claims. I will fight to protect your legal rights, hold the liable parties accountable, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries, damages, additional pain and suffering, or loss. I proudly serve clients in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Douglas, Coweta, Carroll, Lawrenceville, and Cumming Counties.
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What to Do If You Are In a Truck Accident
It’s essential to know what to do after a truck accident to help you save time and money. Here are some starter steps you should follow if you have been involved in any type of truck accident:
Stop and report the crash — Stay at the scene of the crash and call 911 immediately. First responders will assess the situation, provide direction on medical treatment, and fill out an accident report.
Take photos — If possible, take photographs of the accident for your records. Pictures can help you remember the details of the accident and will be helpful in filing a claim.
Exchange information and identify the other party — Truck drivers are required to display company information on their vehicles. Make sure to record company names, addresses, vehicle and driver numbers, and the names of those involved or anyone that witnessed the accident.
Seek medical care — Even if you think your injuries are only minor, you should always be evaluated at a hospital or by your primary care physician. Insurance companies work hard to dismiss claims, and it is hard to prove you sustained an injury if you never sought medical care.
Don’t say or sign anything — The trucking company or its insurance company may contact you for a statement. Some insurance representatives even attempt to contact accident victims in the hospital. Do not give any statements — written or recorded — without speaking to an attorney.
Contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney — Truck accidents involve multiple issues not involved in a typical car accident claim. Don’t assume the insurance company has your best interest in mind or quickly accept a settlement offer before consulting with a legal expert. You may be entitled to much more compensation than you think.
Liability In a Truck Accident
Another benefit of partnering with an Atlanta truck accident attorney is that they can help assess fault and liability for the crash. Some common defendants in truck accident claims are:
The truck driver —Truck drivers are trained to handle their vehicles and are subject to specific laws and regulations that are more detailed than rules for drivers of other types of vehicles. A driver is typically always questioned first.
The trucking company — While there are truck drivers who work as independent contractors, many others are employees of trucking companies. Employers may be held legally responsible when their employee causes injury to someone else.
The truck manufacturer — Companies that design or manufacture trucks and their parts are responsible for ensuring their products are safe and meet all applicable industry standards. When these parts on a tractor-trailer fail and cause an accident, these companies can be held responsible.
A mechanic or service personnel — Crashes caused by mechanical failures can sometimes occur because of negligence on behalf of individuals responsible for maintaining or repairing the truck. This responsibility can fall on the vehicle owner-operator, a trucking company, or both.
The cargo loaders — Big rigs have to be loaded properly with the cargo balanced and safely secured. The responsibility for this is shared by the driver and the individuals who load cargo onto the truck.
All parties listed above will likely argue that you are at fault for the crash. If their strategy is successful, you could stand to lose a large amount of potential compensation or your opportunity to file a claim altogether. This is why it is vital to contact an experienced truck accident attorney immediately after the accident.
Factors In Determining Liability
Initially, the driver of the truck may seem to be the responsible party. While that’s always a possibility, it is crucial to investigate the details of the case in order to correctly determine liability. Here are a few factors that can help in determining liability:
Adherence to trucking laws and regulations — A single oversight or infraction of these regulations can have serious consequences for drivers and employers.
Reckless driving — Both driver and employer may be held responsible for the crash if the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or operating the vehicle in a way that placed others on the road in serious danger.
Road conditions — While inclement weather conditions are out of anyone’s control, the employer and the driver have a responsibility to prepare for conditions such as snow, rain, fog, ice, and high winds.
Failed maintenance — A simple maintenance failure can lead to a devastating accident and complicate the issues of liability.
Improperly loaded cargo — Improperly loaded cargo can make it difficult for even a safe and conscientious truck driver to avoid an accident.
Filing a Claim or Wrongful Death Suit
Trucking companies carry large liability insurance policies due to regulations and legal requirements. Because there is a lot of money at stake, most trucking insurance companies will hire an aggressive attorney to defend against claims. In addition, determining negligence and fault becomes legally complex when multiple parties are involved.
If you are interested in filing a claim, the best course of action is to first contact a reputable truck accident attorney. Doing so perseveres your rights and gives you the best opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, and loss.
Truck Accidents Attorney Serving Atlanta, Georgia
At Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, you can discuss the circumstances surrounding the truck accident, and the impact it has had on you and your family. I will walk you through the entire process, and you never have to worry about being on your own or confused. As your attorney, I will stay by your side. I proudly serve truck accident victims and their families in Atlanta, Georgia, and Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Douglas, Coweta, Carroll, Lawrenceville, and Cumming Counties.